Jack is being weird. I mean, he's always been a Sensitive Little Thing, but his prima donna tendencies are increasing big time. We thought this had to do with taking away his full time maid/playmate/defender of annoying behavior aka Las Vegas Trip Grandma, but that was over two weeks ago. He hasn't had a meltdown of the sort we suffered en route to Lucy's birthday party the day after we got home (did I even TELL you about that? OMG) but he's been twice as ornery, picky and all around irritable as he was before. He's also stopped eating, which prompted me to chalk it up to teeth. But then, eating has never been Jack's bag anyway. He is uninterested in anything that is not a Simple Carbohydrate (the more sugar the better!) and I three-times-daily opt for What He Will Eat over What Is Nutritious. I know, I know, but I CANNOT DEAL.
We even had to have him CRY IT OUT the other night. The boy is TWO AND ALMOST A HALF. He has been sleeping through the night like a good boy for quite a while now, so this Instant Freak Out we're receiving when we deign to put him in his bed at night is unacceptable. And because Molly is sharing his room, we're sort of at his mercy. He stands up in bed and starts "Eh! Eh! Eh!" and if we don't do anything about it he just gets louder and more upset until we have two kids who shouldn't be awake. He wants to be held, or for me/Phillip to sit in the chair while he peacefully drifts off in his crib. Well, no. That is not okay. And the first night he did this I was on my own, I'd had a long crappy day and I finally had to throw him into my bedroom and shut the door on his howls so I could dial back the The Rage. (And oh, that is a post for another day, a nice sunny fictional day when I am not scared of The Comments.)
The next night we put Molly in the pack and play downstairs (poor Molly) and decided he would cry. Fine. And we left him there and the crying moved into that realm of "Do you think he's going to throw up?" and then we heard a big THUMP. We ran into his room and found him on the floor - the first time he has EVER found his way out of the crib, and, we think, so he could retrieve the blanket he threw out in one of his Fits of Sleep Is For Sissies. He sobbed and shrieked and Phillip asked him if he wanted a drink of water and, poof! A sweet little voice said, "Yes pweez." So we KNEW the crying wasn't REAL crying it was MANIPULATIVE and PISSED OFF crying and ooooh we were furious. We ordered him back to his cell after the drink of water and he was quiet, but we think only because the fall out of his crib stunned him as much as it stunned us.
It could still be teeth. He has big empty spots way back in his gums. I know those aren't supposed to be empty forever. I imagine it's not a fun time, having hard pointy things erupting through a tender spot. It could also be Two. It's probably a combination thereof. Either way it's not going well, and I'm starting to feel guilty for being so over the moon with my almost-one-year-old and so consistently frustrated with my almost two-and-a-half-year-old.
But I did not sit down to tell you all that. Look how distracted I get. Actually I really just wanted to know what you are eating for dinner tonight.
I'm always embarrassed to tell people what we eat, because most of my
friends are actually decent cooks who like to eat vegetables and
buy quality stuff. Most of what we eat in my house comes out of giant bags in the Costco freezer section. I top whatever that is with cheese and call it good.
(Well, actually, we usually just buy giant bags of chicken and fish at Costco
and then sit uncertainly in front of allrecipes.com trying to figure
out what to do with the chicken and fish.)
But this Weight Watchers thing has really broadened the scope of what I can make for dinner. This is one of the reasons why I wanted to try it out - I didn't want my family to be on the low carb diet forever. I also wanted to test it as a way to maintain the weight I've lost (although I started losing again, provided I don't eat anywhere outside of my own house, and this is yet ANOTHER post in and of itself, I am so CONFLICTED) but anyway. I still don't know what is acceptable to eat for lunch, but dinner time is so much easier. That Cooking Light subscription is finally doing me some good.
However! I'm still stuck in a Dinner Rut, mostly because a lot of these new recipes are intimidating. Or I am picky. Or I don't have a slow cooker. Or I don't want to spend an hour in the kitchen. It was funny that I was just sitting down to brainstorm our weekly menu (see: last week's menu, and the week before that, and the week before that) when Liz got online asking me what dinners *I* was going to make. Apparently I am not the only one in a rut. Maybe you are too?
So here's something I make almost once a week, because it's quick, easy, everyone likes it (EVEN JACK) and makes enough for Phillip to take to work the next day:
Cook up some low-carb penne pasta. (I like the Dreamfields brand. In a black box.)
Saute 1 diced onion and 1 clove chopped garlic. Add 1 (15oz?) can diced tomatoes, 1T basil, 1/4t oregano, 3/4t sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to boil, boil until pretty much all the liquid from the tomatoes evaporates. Stir in 1/2C cream and 1T butter. Simmer 5 min. Pour over pasta.
We usually eat that with some kind of sausage on the side and a salad. Sometimes I add bacon because bacon makes everything better. (Now the WW people are horrified, but the low carbers will like it!) And now that I'm looking at the recipe, I realize I almost always forget to add the sugar and the butter. And I almost always leave out the onion because I am four. Oh, and this makes enough sauce for about half a box of pasta. I usually boil the whole thing and keep the rest in the fridge for kid dinners/lunches later on in the week.
Okay, I shared my boring but easy weeknight dinner, now share yours. Bonus points for no cheese. OH CHEESE, HOW I MISS YOU.